Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Review | Where Rainbows End by Cecelia Ahern

Image and video hosting by TinyPicWhere Rainbows End by Cecelia Ahern
Alternative Name: Love, Rosie
Published By: Harper Collins
Published On: November 8, 2004
Genre: Chick Lit
Pages: 558
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Rating: ★★★★★

Amazon | Goodreads

From naughty children to rebellious teenagers, Rosie and Alex have stuck by each other through thick and thin. But just as as they're discovering the joys of teenage nights on the town and dating disasters, they're separated. Alex's family move from Dublin to America - and Alex goes with them. For good. 
Rosie's lost without him. But on the eve of her departure to join Alex in Boston, Rosie gets news that will change her life forever - and keep her at home in Ireland. 
Their magical connection sees them through the ups and downs of each others lives, but neither of them knows whether their friendship can survive the years and miles - or new relationships. And at the back of Rosie's mind is whether they were meant to be more than just good friends all along. Misunderstandings, circumstances and sheer bad luck have kept them apart, but when presented with the ultimate opportunity, will they gamble everything for true love?

Rosie and Alex have been best friends since childhood, inseparable and always causing trouble. When Alex is forced to move from Dublin to Boston with his family, everything changes for the friends; but no matter the distance between them, these two can never be separated.

This book is written entirely in letters, emails, instant messages and newspaper articles. It is such a unique format for a book, not like any I have read before. This format makes it a very quick and easy read and does not take too much concentration, which is good for me.

This is a very character driven story. The book takes Rosie and Alex from small children right through until their 50’s, making the development of the characters during this time very vital to the plot. As the plot is so character driven, I developed a strong connection to the main characters very quickly. I loved that as the book went on the new characters, such as Katie, and their development became just as important as the main characters.

The plot should be very frustrating, but it was somehow done perfectly. It was clear from near the beginning of the book that Rosie and Alex both had feelings for each other and, personally, I really wanted them to get together. Usually all of the ‘roadblocks’ put in place of the relationship in books are frustrating to me but this felt more realistic. The frustration was more disappointment for the characters than wishing they would just get together soon. In fact, I found myself beginning to panic at one point when I felt there were not enough pages left in the book for the two to get together.
There were some very powerful backstories to the plot. While it may seem that it is all about whether the two will or won’t get together, there were many other things going on. This book covers everything from teenage pregnancy, to cheating, to death, and more, and it was all done in a very fitting way.

Overall, I thought this book was a very uniquely formatted and uniquely character driven novel, which touched on some difficult topics while still making for a quick, light-hearted read. I loved the characters, the plot and this book in general and has made me want to read more of Cecilia Ahern’s works.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Top Ten Tuesday | Books & Movies To Get Into The Halloween Spirit

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke And The Bookish. Lists galore, I can think of nothing better!

This week's topic is books and movies to get into the Halloween spirit. I am not great with scary things so this may be quite a mild list in terms of scare factor but they all get me in the Halloween mood.


1. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
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This book is just the right amount of creepy for me. While I didn't love this book (review here), I do think it is a good one for getting you into the Halloween spirit. Mystery and messed up characters, what more do you need?

2. Before I Go To Sleep by SJ Watson
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This is slightly similar to Gone Girl in the sense that is is more of a creepy mystery. This is another book that I didn't love, I rated in 3 stars, but it is a great Halloween time read that will keep you guessing.

3. Harry Potter series by JK Rowling
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Harry Potter always reminds me of Halloween because what is more Halloween-y than witches and wizards? This is a great read for getting into the Halloween spirit if you are someone who, like me, is not a huge fan of super scary things.

4. Underworld by Cathy MacPhail
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I read this book in school a few years ago and had nightmares for weeks. Five teenagers get trapped in an underground cave and strange things begin to happen to them. It was a pretty creepy book as a 13/14 year old and I haven't got much braver since then so I'm guessing it would still give me nightmares.

5. Girl, Missing by Sophie McKenzie
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This is another book I read in school but have since reread it and still really enjoyed it. A teenage girl finds out she is registered as a missing person while doing research for a school project. It is quite creepy and some parts did freak me out but it is not anything super scary. 


1. Halloweentown movies
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I have seen all of the Halloweentown movies and I am not at all ashamed of that. I loved these movies when I was younger and still watch them around Halloween to get me in the spirit without scaring myself senseless. They are great family movies for this time of year.

2. Twitches & Twitches Too
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Yes, more Disney Channel movies and no, I am still not ashamed. I loved Tia & Tamera when I was younger and used to love these movies. I haven't watched them for a couple of years but they are more great family movies for this time of year.

3. Shutter Island
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I love this movie but it is damn creepy, to me anyway. This is the kind of movie I would class as scary, though many would probably see this is not at all scary. The movie very much revolves around the mystery aspect and you never know what will happen next.

4. Insidious
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This movie genuinely terrified me, but I did actually enjoy it for the most part. It is not so much scary but the type of film to make you jumpy and I am that person who jumps at everything. I haven't seen the second film yet but that may be one for this year.

5. Dark Skies
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I surprised myself by really liking this movie. Admittedly, it did also scare me half to death but I did enjoy it. It's not what I expected it to be but it is definitely creepy. For some reason, scary movies involving children always get me in the mood for Halloween by scary me senseless.

Those are my top 5 books and top 5 movies for getting into the Halloween spirit. What are yours?

Sophie :)

Friday, 10 October 2014

September 2014 | Book Haul

Over the past few months, I have developed a serious problem with book buying. I can't seem to resist the beautiful, shiny new books and no matter how much I try, I can't not buy them! OK, so it's not quite that serious but I have been buying a lot more books than usual recently and September has been no exception with a total of 14 books bought.

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Before I Go To Sleep by SJ Watson - You may have already seen this book in my September Wrap Up. This is one I was desperate to read in September. I had heard some great things about it and with the movie coming out at the beginning of September, as soon as I saw it in Waterstones, I picked it up. In short, this is about a woman who looses her memories every night while she sleeps.

Panic by Lauren Oliver - This was one that I had heard about but hadn't even added to my TBR on Goodreads when I bought it. I was interested in the concept, graduating seniors of a small town who compete in a dangerous game named Panic (yeah, that's about all I know), but had heard such mixed reviews that I was not entirely convinced. However, I saw it on offer so I bought it on impulse.

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn - This was another impulse buy. After reading Gone Girl and not being entirely sold on it, I had no desire to read the rest of Gillian Flynn's books. However, I was this as I was browsing and thought I would see what it was about. Dark Places is about a girl who sends her brother to prison for the murder to her entire family at just 7 years old and now, 24 years later, is beginning to doubt whether she was right. I was intrigued so I decided to give Gillian Flynn another try.

The Perks Of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky - I have heard so many people say they love this book yet I don't even know what it's about! I really just wanted to see what all of the fuss was about and bought it when I found it on offer.

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell - I want to love Rainbow Rowell as much as everyone else but I have yet to read any of her books, despite owning Fangirl. I do have very high hopes though so I went ahead and bought another of her books, which I know very little about.

Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson - Since You've Been Gone is a book that I have been dying to get my hands on ever since it came out but I was buying so many books that I couldn't justify paying full price for any. Eventually, I found this book on offer and grabbed it very excitedly. This is about a girl whose best friend goes away one summer but leaves her a list of things to do, which she then completes in the hope that her best friend will come back when she does.

The Book Thief by Marcus Zusack - I have had a couple of friend recommend this book to me and I tend to take their recommendations quite seriously as they know me really well, so will usually know what I will like. I know nothing about this book other than it is historical fiction and is narrated by Death. 

Four by Veronica Roth - As a Divergent lover, I was desperate to get my hands on this as soon as it was released but I hated the UK cover so, since none of my Divergent books match anyway, I was trying to find a US edition to get the pretty cover. Then I found the pretty UK cover, fell in love with it and now get to admire it whenever I want. I should probably read Allegiant now.

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Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging, It's OK, I'm Wearing Really Big Knickers, Knocked Out By My Nunga-Nungas, Dancing In My Nuddy-Pants, ...And That's When It Fell Off In My Hand, and ...Then He Ate My Boy Entrancers by Louise Rennison - These are the first six books in the Confessions of Georgia Nicholson series. I have read the first few of these books when I was younger but decided to buy the series and reread/finish it. I found the box set of the first six books on eBay for just £3 so I grabbed them.

Those are book I bought in September. Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them? Are there any of these books you would like to see a full review of?

Sophie :)

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Review | No-One Ever Has Sex On A Tuesday by Tracy Bloom

Image and video hosting by TinyPicNo-One Ever Has Sex On A Tuesday by Tracy Bloom
Published By: Arrow
Published On: January 1, 2011
Genre: Chick Lit
Pages: 344
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Rating: ★★★½

Amazon | Goodreads

Childhood sweethearts Matthew and Katy agree they must never see each other again following a school reunion. 
So all is forgotten ... until eight months later when a shock meeting at an antenatal class forces them to confront the fact that Matthew could be the father of Katy's baby. Love and life are messy, but Katy and Matthew take things to a whole new level as deep emotions begin to resurface and hormones run riot. 
 Never has a one-night-stand led to such chaos!

After a very messy breakup, childhood sweethearts Katy and Matthew go their separate ways, cutting off all contact. However, years later at their high school reunion, the two are reunited and later wake up in bed together. Eight months after the reunion incident, Katy and boyfriend Ben attend their first antenatal class where she comes face to face with Matthew and his pregnant wife Allison. When Matthew, who is quick to do the maths, realises he may be the father of the baby of the woman he has always loved, things could get very complicated.

This is a great fun, easy read. It is the perfect book to read lying by the pool. It is not too deep or dark; instead it is a hilariously chaotic story of a one-night stand gone wrong.

I loved every one of the characters. Katy is not your typical chick-lit main character. She is the one afraid of commitment and is determined to give her boyfriend Ben his freedom. I loved how she handled the whole situation and her very honest struggle with being pregnant and unprepared. Ben is a hilarious character who, despite being relatively young, surprises everyone with his desire to be a great father. I really loved Ben, especially as him and his friends are just so funny. Matthew is exactly the character you would expect the main character to fall in love with. He is successful and mature, and he clearly adores Katy. I loved his struggle with still being so in love with Katy but having a wife who adores him and is pregnant with his twins. I even loved Allison, Matthew’s wife. And who could forget Daniel.

The plot was fun and not at all predictable. I really loved the story and found myself both laughing out loud and crying my eyes out. I did not find anything to be very predictable; it was not like any other chick-lit type books I have read. It was just really fun.

I really did not care which of the guys she ended up with. I loved all the characters so much that I did not mind whether Katy ended up with Matthew or Ben. I would have been happy whatever way the book ended, and I was very happy with the ending it had.

Overall, I think this was a great, fun read and I really enjoyed it. I think it would be a great one for summer or if you are just in the mood for something light but enjoyable. The only reason I did not rate it higher than a 3.5 is because it wasn’t quite as good as the books I have rated a 4 or above.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Tag | The Taylor Swift Book Tag

I have seen the Taylor Swift Book Tag going around youtube and as a Taylor fan I thought it was only right that I do it.

1. We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together
-Pick a book or series that you were pretty sure you were in love with, but then wanted to break up with.
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The Matched Trilogy by Ally Condie! I loved Matched and was so excited to read the next two books in the series, Crossed and Reached. Crossed was very disappointing, I didn't really like it much at all, and Reached was just OK. I have reviews of both Crossed and Reached.

2. Red
- Pick a book with a RED cover.
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Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by JK Rowling! This is the only book I own that has a lot of red on the cover. 

3. The Best Day
- Pick a book that makes you feel nostalgic.
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Twilight by Stephenie Meyer! Do I even need to say anymore? The Twilight Series was pretty much all I read as a 12/13 year old.

4. Love Story
-Pick a book with forbidden love.
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Matched by Ally Condie! I haven't really read many books with forbidden love but I guess Cassia and Ky had some forbidden love going on in Matched.

5. I Knew You Were Trouble
-Pick a book with a bad character you couldn't help but love.
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Draco Malfoy! I just can't help myself when it comes to Draco Malfoy, I have some strange part of me that just loves him as a character. It could have something to do with the films.

6. Innocent
-Pick a book that someone ruined the ending for.
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The Fault In Our Stars by John Green! Half way through me reading this, someone decided to discuss the ending of the book on Facebook. Who does that?!

7. Everything Has Changed
-Pick a character from a book who goes through extensive character development.
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Katie Parker! Throughout the Katie Parker Productions series by Jenny B Jones, Katie goes through some serious character development. By the end of the third book, The Big Picture, Katie is a completely different person to the girl who first arrived in In Between and couldn't wait to get out.

8. You Belong With Me
-Pick your most anticipated book release.
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My True Love Gave To Me! This is a collection of twelve Christmas stories by various authors, edited by Stephanie Perkins. Christmas and Stephanie Perkins, two of my favourite things! I need this book!

9. Forever And Always
-Pick your favourite book couple.
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Isla and Josh! I don't think I can express how much I love Isla and Josh as a couple. I just love them so much!

10. Come Back, Be Here
-Pick the book you would least like to lend out, for fear of missing it too much.
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The Twilight Series! As worn looking as they are, I couldn't lend out my Twilight books. They are my earlier teenage years in book form, I just couldn't.

So that was the Taylor Swift Book Tag. Do you agree with any of my picks?

Sophie :)

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Review | Naked In Knightsbridge by Nicky Schmidt

Image and video hosting by TinyPicNaked In Knightsbridge by Nicky Schmidt
Published by: Prospera Publishing
Published on: November 23, 2009
Genre: Chick Lit
Pages: 350
Format: eBook
Source: Bought from Amazon

Amazon | Goodreads

With mounting debts, threats from a crazy landlord and a cleaning business that was going well until she set fire to someone's house, Jools Grand is about to find herself homeless. She has to come up with a plan, and fast. So with an acute sense of desperation, Jools decides to auction herself online in a marriage of convenience. Who knows, she might even find romance? What Jools isn't banking on is a bidding war between two not-so-eligible bachelors - a wealthy, gay, would-be politician who needs a wife as a cover; and a deranged loner with a newly-refurbished basement prison. Add to that a lecherous father, some soon-to-be-exposed secrets and an addiction to pastries, and Jools is set to discover that nothing comes without a price.

Following the disastrous collapse of her cleaning business, Jools is left unemployed, with endless debt and no way to pay her rent. With no luck in finding a new job, Jools resorts to selling belongings online to make some quick cash but soon realises the only things she owns of any value is herself.

I hated this book. Everything about this book made me angry and it is a wonder I managed to finish it. I honestly cannot think of anything nice to say about it.

What kind of person decides it is a good idea to sell theirself online? Although this is not the main focus of the plot, it has a lot to do with the story. I do not understand what kind of person would even consider that a possibility. It makes the whole plot quite stupid, in my opinion.

I hated almost all of the characters. I cannot explain how much I hated Jools. I can’t possibly like a character so lazy and irresponsible. The kind of character who would rather be homeless than take up the offer of living with her best friend, purely because she does not like her boyfriend. I spent the whole book wanting to scream at her to get a grip! None of the other characters were all that likeable either. The only one I liked at all was Skuttle.

Everything was so predictable. I predicted almost every outcome long before the book ended, which ruined any decent part of the plot. I didn’t feel like anything was particularly unique or exciting.

Overall, this book was so disappointing. I really cannot think of anything positive to say about it. I gave it one star because I finished it, I think that says it all.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

September 2014 | Wrap Up & October TBR

This month has been a crazy busy month, meaning I have had almost no time to read. Unfortunately, it looks like that will not be changing any time soon.

My life in September...
- I started my third year of uni and hate it already!
- Managed to fit in two weekends away with my family. These were the only times I got any reading done!
- I voted on the future of my country in the Scottish Referendum then made myself ill by staying up all night watching the results.
- I finished watching House (possibly another reason for the lack of reading) and the last episode destroyed me!
- I finished watching Season 5 of The Vampire Diaries (I put off the last two episodes for months) and again the last episode completely destroyed me. I cried for like an hour afterwards!
- I rearranged my bedroom and proudly built my new Ikea bedside table all by myself! It's the little things that make me happy.

Read in September...

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Where Rainbows End by Cecilia Ahern - 
I absolutely loved this book! It is about two school friends, Alex and Rosie, who are separated when Alex and his family have to move from Dublin to Boston for his father's job. It follows them through their lives in the form of emails, letters, instant messages and newspaper articles. I really loved the characters and the unique format. Review to come. 5/5

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins -
As much as I loved this book, I didn't enjoy it as much as Anna and the French Kiss. Lola follows our main character Lola as she comes to terms with the fact her old next door neighbour, who she has some history with, has moved back in to the house next door. I liked Lola but I found her harder to relate to than Anna and made it a little harder to first get into the book. I did end up really enjoying it though. Review to come. 4/5

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins -
I loved this book! It is definitely my favourite in the series. Isla follows two characters who we first meet in Anna and the French Kiss, quiet girl Isla and best friend of Etienne St Clair Josh as they begin to realise that their mutual crush is, in fact, mutual. I loved Isla and Josh as a couple and, although I did find Isla a little annoying at times, I liked them both as individual characters as well. I cannot rate this book highly enough. Review to come. 5/5

Before I Go To Sleep by SJ Watson - 
This was my least favourite of the books I have read this month but it was good. It is about a woman who can only hold on to her memories until she falls asleep at night so cannot remember who she is when she wakes up in the morning, until she starts keeping a journal. I liked the idea of this book and it was done well but it wasn't as great as I expected it to be. I even managed to guess the ending which I had hoped not to. Review to come. 3/5

Currently Reading...

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The Maze Runner by James Dashner -
I wanted to read this in time to watch the movie when it comes out next week in the UK. I'm only about 30 pages in at the moment but so far I am struggling to get into it. I know I need to give it more time but at the moment I am just really hoping it gets better soon.

To read in October...

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Before We Met by Lucie Whitehouse -
I like to read darker books in October with it being Halloween but I don't do well with really scary or creepy things so mystery/thriller type books are as far as I go. Before We Met is about a woman whose husband doesn't come home one night and in searching for him she comes across some secrets of his life before they met. The premise intrigues me and the cover is beautiful so I'm excited to read it.

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn -
This is another mystery/thriller book to get me in the Halloween mood. I read Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn at the start of the year and didn't love it as much as, it seems, most people did. I thought I would give one of her other books a go and Dark Places intrigued me. It's about a woman whose brother was sent to prison when she was seven years old based on evidence that she had given but she is now starting to doubt what she heard so begins investigating who killed her family. I hope I like this better than Gone Girl.

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead -
I have had this book on my shelf for years now but never got round to reading it. What better time to read about vampires than Halloween so I am going to try and get round to it in October. All I know is it is about a boarding school for vampires.

Confessions of Georgia Nicholson series books 1-3 by Louise Rennison -
I have already read Angus, Thongs & Full-Frontal Snogging, It's OK, I'm Wearing Really Big Knickers and Knocked Out By My Nunga-Nungas a few years ago but I plan to reread them before continuing on with the series. They are really quick reads so I should hopefully get through them.

I have such a busy month in October, especially with uni work, so I think I have been a bit too ambitious with my TBR but I never end up sticking to a TBR list anyway, I just like making lists.

What have you read in September? And what are you planning to read in October?

Sophie :)